Longford senior hurling manager Ray Gavin.
By virtue of their hard earned win over Warwickshire at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Saturday, the Longford hurlers are now through to meet the same opposition in the National League Division 3B Final on Saturday April 1.
Allianz National Hurling League Division 3B - Round 4
Longford . . . . . 2-18 Warwickshire . . . . . . 2-12
With the visitors already through to the title decider after winning their previous three games against Sligo, Fermanagh and Leitrim, their mentors decided to rest a number of players including former Antrim star Liam Watson.
Longford manager Ray Gavin fielded his strongest possible side in the quest for a third consecutive win in the current National League campaign (with the remaining fixture away to Sligo on March 26) and the main man was accurate corner-forward Cathal Mullane who clocked up a total of 1-8 (five frees).
Mullane was a constant threat in the first half, scoring 1-5 with the goal coming in the 33rd minute after he got the vital touch to direct a long range free from wing back Daire Duggan to the back of the net.
The home side led by 1-12 to 1-6 at the break but Warwickshire got right back into contention with a great goal from substitute Kelvin McGee in the 61st minute.
Just three points (1-17 to 2-11) separated the sides at this late stage but the issue was eventually settled in the second minute of stoppage time when Longford attacker Reuben Murray blasted a cracking shot to the roof of the net.
LONGFORD: Breen Elliott (Southern Gaels, Westmeath); Gerry Moore (Clonguish Gaels), Eoghan Kavanagh (Longford Slashers), Stephen Farrell (Young Grattans); Johnny Casey (St Brigid’s Killashee), Karl Murray (Young Grattans), Daire Duggan (Sean Connolly’s, 0-2, frees); Paul Barden Jnr (Clonguish Gaels), Patrick Walsh (Clonkill, Westmeath, 0-2, one free); Shane O’Brien (Clonguish Gaels), Seamus Hannon (Wolfe Tones Mostrim, 0-4), Conor Keegan (Castletown Geoghegan, Westmeath, 0-1); Paddy Farrington (Delvin, Westmeath), Reuben Murray (Young Grattans, 1-1), Cathal Mullane (Killeedy, Limerick, 1-8, five points from frees).
Subs:- Eugene Kiernan (Clonguish Gaels) for S O’Brien (injured, 29 mins); Cian McLoughlin (Wolfe Tones Mostrim) for P Farrington (58 mins); Jamie Rosney (Clonguish Gaels) for R Murray (injured, three minutes into stoppage time).
WARWICKSHIRE: Ciaran Boyle; Shane Conlon, Donnacha Kennedy, Michael O’Regan; Robbie Curley, Willie Allen (0-1, free), Kieran Phelan; Joe Meagher, Kieran Boxwell; Chris Convery (0-6, all frees), John Reddan (0-2), Ian Dwyer; Mark Nolan, Conor Robbins (1-3), Ciaran Glennon.
Subs:- Kelvin McGee (1-0) for C Glennon (half-time); Tom Kelly for R Curley (half-time); Seamus Brough for K Phelan (50 mins); Ciaran McMullan for M Nolan (50 mins); Paul Hoban for C Convery (57 mins).
Referee: Rory McGann (Clare).